During the NHL’s hiatus, we at Last Word on Hockey are going to look back at each date’s historical significance to the game. We’ll remember the moments that shaped the sport of hockey that happened on this day. Here’s our look at this date in hockey history for July 14th, featuring Phil Esposito.
Today in Hockey History
Phil Esposito Hired as Rangers GM
1986: The New York Rangers hire the Hockey Hall of Famer to help the team end their Stanley Cup drought. He replaces Craig Patrick as the team’s general manager. Esposito promises the bring the silver chalice back to Broadway for the first time since 1940.
He hopes to build off of the Blueshirts trip to the Wales Conference Finals. However, Esposito is fired in 1989 after the team is ousted in the Patrick Division semifinals. New York ends its Cup drought in 1994 by beating the Vancouver Canucks.
Other Notable Events
1976: The league officially relocates the California Seals to Cleveland to become the Barons. It’s the first relocation of a franchise since Ottawa was moved to St. Louis in 1934.
1995: The St. Louis Blues sign former four-time Stanley Cup-winning goalie Grant Fuhr to a deal. Fuhr wins four titles with the Edmonton Oilers comes over after spending the last season with the Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings. He goes 108-87 with 41 ties in 249 games during four seasons with the Blues.
1999: Pat Quinn becomes the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Quinn becomes the only active coach/general manager at the time. He keeps both roles until John Ferguson takes over Aug. 29, 2003. Quinn stays on as head coach until the end of the 2005-06 season.
Dallas signs free-agent defenceman Don Sweeney, who played his last 15 seasons with Boston.
Happy Birthday to You
1921: Armand Gaudreault
1957: Kevin McCarthy
1960: Mike McPhee
1976: Lubos Bartecko
1986: Nikolai Kulemin
1993: John Gibson